Roku Announces Roku 3 Set-Top Box

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Roku yesterday announced their third-generation set-top box, and Apple TV competitor, Roku 3, with new features like a brand new interface and motion gestures for its remote.

    Like previous Roku boxes, the newest version also hosts entertainment apps like Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and more, in addition to music streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora.

    The big new addition, however, is a brand new interface with a new search function. Search now allows users to search by movie title, director, actor and more and pulls in information from all of the installed apps. Once the user finds something they're looking for, they're able to watch it on whichever app they like.

    The company has also included a motion controller, much like the controllers for Nintendo's Wii game console, so that users can play games like the bundled Angry Birds Space. The controller also has a headphone jack that allows users to plug in the included earbuds and listen to their programming without disturbing others.

    Roku also claims that the box consumes less power than a nightlight when streaming, has dual-band wireless for fast streaming and is the most powerful box they've built.

    Although the Roku has 750 apps, more than the handful available on Apple TV, Business Insider says that Roku doesn't have a feature similar to AirPlay.
    The new Roku 3 is $99, in line with Apple TV pricing, and will begin shipping in April.

    Article Link: Roku Announces Roku 3 Set-Top Box
  2. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    My first thought: that remote looks like a Wii-mote.
  3. JaySoul macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!
  4. DDaddyx2 macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    Please, Apple, add more service providers to Apple TV so I am not jealous of Roku. Amazon Instant, Spotify, Pandora....come on!!
  5. justperry macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Sadly, as with AppleTv it's only viable in the US, anywhere else not so much.
  6. Xenomorph macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    I have a Roku, and a few people I work with got one as well.

    Biggest issues:

    - That D-pad on the remote? It's one of those really crappy ones. There is no pivot point in the middle, which means you can push all 4 directions at the same time.

    - No YouTube app.

    - Poor indication of if anything was "happening" in an app, menus, interface, etc. Is something loading? Did it hang? Who knows! There's no activity indicators.

    Galaga is actually my favorite thing on Roku. It's a nice, arcade-perfect game that even saves my high score between plays. But that D-pad is horrible. If they fixed the D-pad on the new Roku, I would get one.
  7. thederby macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2007
    Austin, TX
    can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

    this is my #1 requirement for a box like this and the main reason why an appletv3 won't be in the running until it gets a jailbreak (so it can run xbmc).
  8. ikev85 macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2012
    With the Roku iOS app you can stream music and pictures from your phone to your TV. it isn't Airplay but it's something
  9. leon44 macrumors 6502


    Jun 17, 2010
    Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Plleeaassee put the iPlayer on the Apple TV
    and 4OD,
    then the UK will really listen :)
  10. UnfetteredMind macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2012
    OMG! Galaga is one of my all-time favorite games. Even more tempting now to get a Roku. I'd really like to stick to one strategy for streaming though (and I have a 3rd gen AppleTV right now). I really wish Apple would open Pandora's box by opening up the AppleTV to third party app developers. For this I keep waiting and hoping.
  11. Xenomorph macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

    The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
    So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.

    There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
    Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.


    Something to keep in mind is the Roku's price.

    The basic unit (WiFi, 720p, APPS) is just $49.99.

    The $99 unit (WiFi, Ethernet, SD, USB, 1080p, APPS, etc) is $99. Way more features and functionality than the $99 Apple TV.

    The new Roku 3 is still $99, but adds a multi-core Cortex 9 CPU, which really kicks the speed up.
  12. JaySoul macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Just AirPlay the BBC iPlayer from your iPhone/iPad to the Apple TV. It works well now, even "Africa" looked beautiful through this.
  13. Jamie Clay macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2012
    There is (now) a dandy YouTube app on the Roku called VideoBuzz, works quite well.

    Also, PlayOn in conjunction with a desktop can serve local (on your home network) media, (Free Hulu) and most of the popular streaming sites.

    The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell.
  14. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I know it would never happen - but apple should really create an iTunes app so people can use their Roku and watch movies/tv from their iTunes account.

    While it might make Apple take a hit on hardware - they would be getting revenue from media consumption.
  15. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    See the kinds of little niceties that can be innovated when you have a team focused on a product line instead of treating it as a hobby? I wish Apple would take a tiny fraction of that war chest and put a dedicated team together that focuses on nothing but :apple:TV. I'd like to see what the "hobby" would look like after a year or two of dedicated attention.
  16. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    It can with the Plex software plugin. And it's pretty amazing, I'm doing it with the last Roku and it's way better than any apple media software I've used.

    I don't know specifics on codecs, it probably doesn't play iTunes store content because of DRM but it has played any other files I've tried.
  17. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I don't have a roku - but two things would make it "perfect" for me

    1 - ability to add a tv tuner or built in tv tuner
    2 - be able to use usb to attach a hard drive to record (DVR)
  18. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Because of what the Roku can't do and you can't 'jailbreak' to get that to work since it's hardware based.

    As for my Apple TV, it has around 300k apps thanks to my being able to Airplay anything I want off my devices. For me, and many, that's good enough. We don't need them onboard the set box


    1. That's basically their only product. So yeah they are focusing on it
    2. You don't know that Apple doesn't have a team. They could have 1000 folks working in this. And you still won't like the results because they didn't do it the way you (and most of this board) want them to. But it will probably still sell hand over fist to 'the sheep'
  19. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    You speak the truth! I love my Roku 2 nothing else comes close in terms of Apps and flexibility.

    One often overlooked feature of Roku is how WELL it streams netflix over low-speed connections. Not all network streaming devices are the same.
  20. Ptjones1968 macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2013
    "The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell".

    Airplay has a huge advantage over Roku. I can convert my HDTV to a giant monitor by activating Airplay on my iMac. The Bluetooth keypad and trackpad easily work in a different part of the house. I can then watch Amazon TV or play Angry Birds or whatever else takes my fancy.
    Face Time is also great through Apple TV.
  21. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009

    You can also get a 1080p version for $79. offers the comparison in models.
  22. Hastings101 macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2010
    Probably sarcasm but I think it is a good idea :p
  23. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I use my iPhone as an ATV3 remote, it's also got a headphone jack...
  24. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    Headphone jack in the remote umm I would prefer bluetooth headphone support .
  25. JaySoul macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    No not sarcasm at all.

    Honestly, when watching TV in bed my partner will invariably fall asleep within 5 minutes, leaving me to watch the rest of the program at a miniscule volume.

    This would solve that brilliant. I'd literally use it every night.

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